very belated, i know. and i'm sorry.

friday afternoon we took a train from Princeton, NJ into New York City with our friend Meg. It emptied us out into the center of everything - it felt like there were billions of people and they were all going somewhere. my first reaction is, "ah! crowded, crazy, confusion, too much!"

after getting mildly lost we found our way to 1st and 20th and met up with one of Meg's fiends, Nick. He was a really cool guy, very genuine and accepting. He took us on a mini tour of the area and showed us a cool pizza place for lunch and a dessert bar later for something sweet. There are so many things in nyc; so many places to shop, to eat, to chill, to work.

he took us to his favorite park, Union Square. This is where i really started to appreciate nyc. Here i began to see it as more than just a mass of people. There were people lounging on blankets in the grass, strolling through the farmers market, playing with their dogs and/or kids, reading books, enjoying the company of friends, strumming guitars. People watching was so much fun, i thought about all of my friends who love sketching and about how much fun they would have here. I looked at people and really saw them as individuals and thought about how they have hopes and dreams too and i enjoyed imagining what those might be.

we stopped to look at this big clock/countdown thing on the side of a large building and a man asked us if we knew what it was, we said we didn't and so he began telling us about it. We told him we weren't from around there and explained what we were doing with Love Each One and everything. we asked him if we could video tape him and ask him a question and he quickly agreed. His name was Ron, he was a tall slim black man who was very friendly and polite and he had a kind smile. He was originally from Charlotte, NC. he had fun talking to Emily about that. He said that love is a choice. Its a decision to respond in loving way when people are treating you badly. He said that he used to live a tit for tat lifestyle but now he's learned how important it is to turn the other cheek, to respond in love despite the circumstances.

As we walked away from him, Emily and i were approached by two girls who wanted to tell us about a salon that was offering this amazing deal for a haircut, manicure, massage, and more and after expressing how much we wished we could take part we told them we were only there for the day and explained what we were doing and asked if they would mind sharing their thoughts on love with us really quick. They both said that love is in the small things - like holding the door open for someone or smiling at the people you pass by. They said that in a city as big as new york those are the things that really stand out, just acknowledging people is love.

As we continued through the park we happened upon a performance by a group of very fit black guys who were break dancing and bringing in quite the crowd. The leader of the group, who was wearing a leopard print do-rag, started yelling for people to gather closer, he said, " heeey! whiiite people! come clooooser! we will noooot hurt youuu. there are toooo many of youuu!" he was funny. he jumped over 6 girls who were kneeling in a row. once the act was over we ran over to meet him and see if he would answer our question. He said that love is in the breath. as long as we're breathing we're loving.

We also got to ask Nick what he thought love was and after he talked about his lovely girlfriend Justine, he said that we were the best example of love he had seen in awhile. He talked about how he walks down all the same streets everyday and see's all those people that we had talked with but he just walks by without engaging. He said that we really inspired him to go about his daily life differently.

i feel like a big thing we were hearing in nyc was just to live love; to breath love, respond in love, see love in simple acts. its cool because i feel like that fits new york city. its a crowded extravagant place and so the love light that really shines is a small, daily love. love that is enduring and constant.

it feels like a perfect reminder for the end of this tour. we dont want everything we've learned to just fade away, we still want to focus on loving each person we encounter, only now it will be a much more simple, daily sort of love.

currently we are in Matthews, NC staying with emily's family. we've been working on the packages for the soldiers, yes, we were supposed to have done those a month ago... but we're doing them now. we also got to hang out with a friend from school and one of his good friends and talk to them about love. they introduced us to a lovely place called Amelies french bakery. emily will tell you more about all things charlotte/matthews tomorrow (hopefully!) though.

goodnight for now! :)

tomorrow we drive to orlando!

~ ginger